The spring salamander migration, the beginning of breeding season, seen through the eyes of a young enthusiast.
Having waited for just the right conditions, a young girl and her mother go out into a rainy evening to search for salamanders attempting to cross busy roads. The story of amphibian migration, when frogs and salamanders leave their winter burrows and return to the wetlands and ponds where they were born to lay eggs for another generation, has been told several times in sweet stories of ecologically conscious children and their parents. In a relatively simple text set out in short lines, the protagonist relates facts about salamanders she has learned from her mother, “the scientist”; her anticipation; and her satisfying experience. The text has the look but not the sound of poetry, with some awkward word choices. But it’s a quiet, patient story, beautifully reflected in Sodano’s paintings, which are done with colored inks, crayon, water-soluble pencils, and digital techniques. These show a black-haired, olive-skinned child and her diverse classmates, salamanders at varying life stages, and the early-spring woodland world near her home. There’s a map showing that spotted salamanders (the species depicted) range broadly down the East Coast and into the Midwest. These excellent illustrations help bring the girl’s expedition to life and add information, too.
A lovely vehicle for sharing nature with children. (Informational picture book. 4-8)